Detailed List of Retreats

Nurturing Happiness

Teacher: Sister Candasiri
Cost: 2 or 5 days accommodation + R500 surcharge
Dates: Friday 12 May 2023 - Wednesday 17 May 2023

ajahn candasiriFriday 12 May - Sunday 14 May 2023 or Friday 12 May - Wednesday 17 May 2023

If you are looking to find a path of meditation and practice for well-being and happiness, don’t miss this opportunity to learn from a wise, experienced and senior nun - who is one of the Theravāda Buddhist monastics who co-founded Chithurst Buddhist Monastery in West Sussex. She is one of the senior monastics in western Theravāda Buddhism and trained alongside women who later became fully ordained bhikkhunis and abbesses of monasteries.

Everyone wants to be happy but, sadly, very few people really understand what is needed to bring about true happiness. During this time of retreat we will use the Buddha's teachings as a guide and encouragement for understanding suffering and for nurturing happiness. We will come to see that each of us has the capacity to bring about a lasting peace and joy in our lives. Such blessings are sorely needed on our planet at this time. Join Ajahn Candasiri for some days of nurturing happiness! Ajahn Candasiri's recent book, 'The Secret of Happiness' will be freely available for anyone who would like it. Noble Silence will be encouraged throughout the retreat, although there also will be times for questions and discussion. There will be morning and evening pujas and time for rest.

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Ajahn Candasiri was born in Scotland in 1947 and after a full and interesting life she decided, in 1979, to enter the monastic community at Chithurst under the guidance of Ajahn Sumedho. For many years she lived in community and has been active in supporting a training for nuns at Chithurst and at Amaravati Buddhist monasteries. Now she is living in Scotland in a small Hermitage that has been established for nuns of her tradition. The Buddha's teachings on suffering and its ending continue to be the inspiration for her life and practice.

Click here to listen to one of Ajahn Candasiri's morning reflections.

small secret of happiness

The idea for the topic and title, ‘The Secret of Happiness’, came about after reflecting on my first meeting with Ajahn Sumedho in 1977, just a few weeks after his arrival in the UK. I had been very impressed by the sense of ease and joy that he seemed to carry with him. That, in itself, it was remarkable. What made it even more remarkable was what I had been told about the monks: that they followed an extremely exacting way of life and a discipline that required them to rise at 4.00 a.m. for meditation, and to eat only one meal a day before noon. They had no money, no entertainment, no sexual contact of any kind. The list of things they had given up was long – and yet… and yet… they seemed deeply happy and at ease.

'...it became clear to me that hostility, ill-will, anxiety and worry are bad news - if we want to be happy. I also understood that it is possible to live free from these things. Of course, we all want to be happy but, until then, it had never occurred to me that there are things that we can consciously work on to generate well-being.'